We come from countries in North America, Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe where we live and work among the people. In response to a call from our loving God, we give our lives to work toward achieving God’s desire for a just and peaceful world for all peoples.
Winnie and Marjorie were in Montreal last week for a meeting with the other Visitation Coordinators. One of the major topics discussed was the urgent issue of Climate Change and its ongoing threat to our planet. In March, we all received an e-mail letter from Sr. Josephine Badali explaining the collective action that the Congregation is going to take to implement the Mission Orientation: “In solidarity with the impoverished, the excluded and the oppressed, we commit ourselves to protect our planet”. On March 27, all associates received an e-mail letter from the Central Office of Associate Relationship explaining that “As associates we are being invited to stand together with the Congregation by participating in a process of education, reflection and action. In unity and solidarity we will join this collective action, our corporate stance, by signing the Congregation’s declaration and committing ourselves to personal and communal transformation.” The Congregation of Notre Dame Social Justice Network is preparing informational and prayer materials to send to the sisters and associates for us to use in preparation for signing the Congregation’s Declaration. You will be receiving more information on this as it becomes available. On Wednesday evening, we celebrated Winnie! We have been blessed to have Winnie represent Visitation East for the past 6 years. Karen Volpe led us in a Blessing and then each of us provided a statement to the Blessing. Thank you Winnie for your great work, your care and compassion for everyone and may you be blessed with many new opportunities to share your gifts!
Did you see any videos from the ALS 'Ice Bucket Challenge?' Following this example, we would like to invite some energy and attention on taking action for Climate Change. What have we been doing already and what more can we do? Our first challenge is from the Visitation Province Administration Team. They have set the bar high, integrating education and action to address local needs that have been intensified due to how Climate Change played out in the Atlantic region this past winter. Want to see them in action? Check out JPIC website atwww.jpic-visitation.org
On Saturday January 24th Gerald and I attended a Development & Peace (D&P) Workshop hosted by Fr. Bill Burke, Pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Sydney NS. We felt blessed to meet the new animator for D&P, Tara Hurford, who helped open our eyes to some of the marginalization that exists in the Philippines, Brazil and Nigeria. Although small in number, we were big in spirit from parts of Antigonish County to Lingan, Cape Breton, and areas in between. The people of Tacloban in the Philippines have suffered severely from Typhoon Haiyan where most now live in tents that grow stifling under the hot sun where they face forced displacement by the government. D&P has partnered with Urban Poor Associates (UPA) where the women have formed the Yolanda Survivors Women’s Association and are producing gardens where they are able to grow stronger and can see that by working together they can create a better future. Maria of Brazil is helping her people rise above land owners who promise work on large plantations only to find themselves forced to work long hours for scant wages. Through the work of D&P who have partnered with Pastoral Land Commission, Brazilians have reached out to bring awareness of workers’ rights. Maria felt that their eyes have been opened in fact they realize that their employers will only respect them when he knows that they are aware of their rights. Samuel of Nigeria, a poultry farmer was given an opportunity to participate in several training sessions through D & P and is now versed in bookkeeping, veterinary skills and management; in addition, he was able to secure a loan that helped him diversify his activities. His stock of 300 birds, now numbers 700. We were very encouraged by the awareness of the workshop and feel that this would be something our Foundress would be passionate about and would want us to be involved in!
SakuranoSeibo students are visiting the radiation refugees’ temporal housing.
They visit each house and invite the people to join them for activities.
Girls try to play with children and to take a walk with
the eldery. They need special attention. The girls listen to their talk and give a warm-water therapy for arms and legs.